Tufts and the Madoff Scandal

  • Tufts invests $20 million with Ascot Partners

    In May of 2005, Tufts invested $20 million of its endowment funds in Ascot Partners, a hedge fund managed by investor Ezra Merkin. Merkin served as a middleman for many investors to access Bernard Madoff, who promised high returns on investments in what turned out to be a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme. (Date is approximate).
  • Ascot Partners reports that since 2005, Tufts' investment had yielded $5.6 million in returns

    Over three years, Tufts' investment appeared to have grown by over 25 percent. As the university soon learned, however, the $5.6 million in returns reported by Madoff turned out to be "wholly fictitious," according to university spokesperson Kim Thurler. (Date is approximate.)
  • Bernard Madoff confesses to his sons

    After collecting billions of dollars from investors to whom he reported false returns, Wall Street legend Bernard Madoff confessed to his sons that he had been running what amounted to a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. According to federal investigators, he admitted after his arrest that he had been using new investors' cash to pay returns to old investors who sought to access their money.
  • Madoff is arrested for fraud

    Madoff's sons tipped off federal investigators, who arrested Madoff on Dec. 11, 2008.
  • Class-action lawsuit filed against Ascot Partners

    The New York Law firm Abbey Spanier Rodd & Abrams files a class-action lawsuit on behalf of New York Law School against Ascot Partners, the fund%u2019s auditor, and Jacob Ezra Merkin. Merkin's fund lost nearly all of its assets by simply investing customers' money with Madoff and charging a middleman fee.
  • President Bacow informs community of investment

    In a letter to the Tufts community, University President Lawrence Bacow announces the university's loss. In his message, Bacow writes that the investment "will not significantly affect [Tufts'] operations" going forward.
  • NYT article links Tufts trustee to Ascot's manager

    In a long, investigative piece about Madoff's Ponzi scheme, the New York Times reports that Merkin "had been a major investor in a company whose board included James A. Stern, a member of the Tufts investment committee." Merkin had owned a stake in that company, Noel Group LLC, in the late '90s, when Stern was one of its directors. However, when Tufts invested in Merkin's hedge fund in 2005, Tufts says there was no financial link between the two.